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Record Industry Should Embrace Online Services

Record companies: You know you’re in trouble when your primary source of income starts airing your dirty laundry in the national press (“4 Pay Steep Price for Free Music,” May 2, and “Apple Reports Brisk Sales of Songs in First Week of Download Service,” May 6).

When asked why they download free music and don’t feel bad about “stealing” it, college students described record companies as evil conglomerates who shove mediocre music down their throats at inflated prices and then gouge the artist’s profits. Ouch!

I venture to say their primary reason is simply the convenience of digital music. Yet in the midst of a technological revolution that’s altered the way we listen to music more than any other medium in the last 30 years, the Recording Industry Assn. of America punished these college students by suing them, while Apple took the technology reins and ran with them.

Selling downloads for their tiny song-storing devices (iPods) on their Web site for a nominal charge, they sold a million songs on their Web site in one week.

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Sounds like a much better way to woo consumers.

Angelique Little

Hollywood

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It’s not at all surprising that analysts in the ethically challenged financial industry find it astonishing that people would actually pay to download music from Apple Computer’s new iTunes Music Store.

It turns out there are dinosaurs like myself who understand and honor copyrights.

As a photographer, I know firsthand about having my work stolen. That makes me particularly anxious not to steal other people’s creations. And make no mistake -- it is theft, pure and simple.

Diane Calkins

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Encinitas


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